There is nothing grey about Mitch Nichols. He grabs attention on the field and is notorious in the midfield. Loved or loathed he has now become a Wanderer and it is this divisive persona that will add an impact to the Wanderers side.
When the Western Sydney Wanderers announced the signing of Mitch Nichols it did not take long for social media to explode.
It was a mixture of sheer excitement due to his abilities as a footballer or sheer panic due to his ability to split opinion, both in contrast to the midfielder’s calm and relaxed interview style.
Growing up on acreage, the Palm Beach junior began playing football as there were a lot people in his area the same age as him and he simply got a team together and started playing.
He described his career so far as continually “progressing” but one could also perceive it as continually accelerating.
From playing in the Gold Coast Premier League and signing with Brisbane Roar at the age of 18, to joining Melbourne Victory and playing in Asia with Cerezo Osaka – things have been consistently on the up for Nichols.
The divisive character then of Mitch Nichols is something that has been debated before, dividing football fans both young and old.
When questioning Nichols himself on his on-field persona he stated that he sees himself as both “competitive and frustrated”.
Ideally, these would be two great characteristics in a footballer who wants to be the best for this club.
So then why are there two contrasting perceptions from the fans about Nichols?
“I think it is just because I am laidback and I don’t have the best body language on the field.
“Maybe I am just misunderstood.”
The opinion though that matters the most to Nichols is that of his new coach Tony Popovic and his fellow players.
For Nichols, reaching peak form similar to the one he had during his time at Melbourne Victory is something that he wishes to replicate at the Wanderers.
“When you play in a good team you obviously go on to win things.
“When you are successful people start talking about you.”
And talk they did.
Nichols was left to reflect on his life and think about his proudest moment as an individual. It came down to football.
“Obviously it’s good to play for the national team but just playing professional football has been the proudest moment in my life so far.”
Stay tuned for Part 2 of In depth with Mitch Nichols.